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Autodesk's story behind the story
An article about our friends at Autodesk, “Autodesk Channels Customer Satisfaction” only scratches the surface.
We all know that when rolled-out improperly, “tying customer satisfaction scores to partner compensation” (as the article states) leads to gaming, poor customer experiences, and reduced customer loyalty. Just think about any recent automobile transaction where the rep tries to “incent” (bribe?) their customer for giving high scores.
While the article covers some of the results that Autodesk has been able to achieve, space constraints prevent the author from detailing some of the best practices that Autodesk has deployed in this multi-year journey. I need to keep this brief myself, so I’ll just elaborate on 3 key items:
- By focusing more on “carrots” than sticks their partners have gained real insights. For example, Autodesk couples “peer benchmarking” insights across several dimensions with proven best practices. A given partner can understand the strength of their customer relationships and resulting business metrics relative to other “partners like me,” and gain expertise around what has worked to drive those improvements.
- Critically, Autodesk has established that the effort is not about the “scores.” Response and coverage targets are combined with peer benchmarks to encourage the best behaviors and outcomes (loyalty and relationship building in pursuit of profitable growth). Autodesk channel partners gain every ability to have candid dialogs – the right feedback from the right people at the right time – to drive incremental growth.
- Autodesk provides their channel partners with value-added infrastructure. They save their partners millions with scalable processes and technology that would be far too costly for individual partners to have to create on their own.
Their winning formula that combines the right data with best-practice insights and tools behind-the-numbers has helped Autodesk’s partners grow. And it’s working: revenue and margins have improved significantly per quarterly and annual filings.
Autodesk has been able to walk a very fine line by focusing on the right business outcomes. Congratulations to our friends on their achievements!